Jamie's Reviews > Running the Rift

Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jun 26, 12

Read in June, 2012

I admit that the fact that this book won a prize for "socially engaged fiction" initially turned me off. I was worried this meant it would be a "good for you" book rather than a "good to read" book. Worry not - it is an engaging read with excellent characters. The main character is in training for the 800M race at the Olympics - the portions of the book covering his running and life as a Tutsi athlete were interesting even for a non-runner. The lessons he learns as a runner - endurance, pacing, how to use strategy - all carry over into his daily life as well.

Books like this one where you already know the ending - the Rwandan genocide - have a difficult task, because the reader is always waiting for those events to begin. The genocide takes up a very small portion of this book, close to the end. What this book does well is to cover the little indignities, the tensions, the brushed aside events that lead up to the genocide. At the end you understand how the country was ready to explode - but also how people were able to ignore the warning signs and hope/pretend/pray that everything was going to be fine.

Philip Gourevitch's book "We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families" still remains, hands-down, the best non-fiction book about Rwanda.
1 like · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Running the Rift.
sign in »

No comments have been added yet.